When it comes to Old Spice, people will always think of Isaiah Mustafa’s “Hello ladies…” commercials or Terry Crew’s “POWER!” commercials. These two commercial campaigns sparked Old Spice into relevancy again becoming more of a household name for personal hygiene products. Isaiah Mustafa’s “Hello ladies” commercials appealed to women, portraying an ideal man advertising bodywash for their man where the bodywash would make their man smell like him. It used comedic actions in order to entice the women watching the commercial to want their man to use the Old Spice bodywash. The Terry Crews “POWER!” commercials were more advertised to men having Terry Crews be a macho man exerting power in his voice and actions during the commercial in a way that entertained viewers by the millions. Both commercial campaigns would become widespread successes due to their nature of not taking themselves seriously in an over the top comical fashion and using ethos and pathos in a fashion that made viewers interested in what Old Spice was selling. Isaiah Mustafa’s Old Spice commercials invoked pathos while Terry Crews’ Old Spice commercials invoked pathos and ethos.
Old Spice’s “Hello Ladies” commercials involving Isaiah Mustafa would show Mustafa as an ideal man for women, using pathos to entice the viewers about the products he would sell. The commercials were intriguing to the audience as it plain comedic to watch and something that was very unique at the time. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE) This commercial even avoided using the false analogy fallacy, a fallacy where two things have similarities, but are not exactly the same, where the script for the commercial has it where it states that the men watching the commercial most likely can’t instantly be on a boat having diamonds come out of his hand and be on a horse, but can definitely smell like him which is completely true as it would be the product being sold. Old Spice sold the idea that women would want their man to smell like Mustafa in his commercials. The commercial uses pathos to make the audience feel happy as it has the comedic effect on viewers giving likability to the commercial. The writing team for the commercials were able to have free reign on whatever they wanted to do for the commercials, allowing for creative freedom when making the commercials. According to the study by Erik du Plessis, the study revealed for television advertising in South Africa, the single biggest factor that influences audience to be able to remember commercials and possibly by the product in the commercials is if the commercial was likable. If people like the commercial, people would be more willing to see more of the commercial and possibly be more incline to buy products shown in the commercial. The “Hello Ladies” commercials were very likable in the aspect that people found it enjoyable to watch and wanted to see more commercials that resembled the first commercial, which lead to the “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign of Old Spice commercials. The comedy in Isaiah Mustafa’s commercials would create likability due to people enjoying the type of comedy of the commercials. The commercials used pathos to invoke likability among the audience making the audience remember the commercials and therefore remember the name Old Spice.
After the Isaiah Mustafa commercials, Old Spice wanted to make commercials more targeted to men instead of women for their new line of products. That’s when they brought in Terry Crews for the “POWER!” commercials. The Terry Crews commercials would invoke ethos and pathos to sell Old Spice products to viewers. First, the Terry Crews commercials would invoke ethos due to the figure and personality of Crews from everything he worked on before. Due to the popularity of previous works Terry Crews had been apart on, such as White Chicks, Everybody Hates Chris, and playing in the NFL, He had become a name and a face most people would be able to recognize. People liked what he did before the Old Spice commercials, meaning most people would assume they would most things he would be apart of giving more openness to the new “POWER!” Old Spice commercials featuring him. Secondly, the Terry Crews commercials invoked pathos due to the commercial’s likability. Much like the Isaiah Mustafa commercials, people liked the Terry Crews commercials due to its comedic effect. The commercials were funny in a random way doing many outrageous things. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXfWLf9_dbo) In this commercial the writers just had Crews yell the slogan and have him sitting on a tiger. Something like this is not what most commercials are like, and adding to how outrageous it is, it gives a good laugh to all audience members. According to Inc, the commercials featuring Isaiah Mustafa and Terry Crews were able to market itself to viewers due to some simple marketing tactics. It was able to make snappy, enjoyable content consistently and making it available to be seen everywhere. Old Spice were able to trust their writing and marketing team, allowing them to be able to market the company in ways that would be enjoying to the average viewer that stumbled upon the commercials. Terry Crews’ Old Spice commercials were able to invoke ethos and pathos making the commercials likable to viewers.
Due to the wide success of the Isaiah Mustafa and Terry Crews old spice commercials, people wanted to see the two together for a while building up to the commercials pitting Isaiah Mustafa against Terry Crews in the commercials. These commercials were born from the pathos of fans of the commercials wanting to see the two in one commercial. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ASb6jf-s74) Take the first of the VS. commercials featuring the two, it uses the comedic tactics from both commercial campaigns before it, using Mustafa’s commercials signature comedic appeal and clashing it against Crews’ signature comedic appeal in their respective commercials beforehand. In a sense, it would take the approach that would market both branches of Old Spice products in the same commercial, having the products that marketed towards men, with Terry Crews, and the products marketed towards women for men, with Isaiah Mustafa. The commercials with the two together were demanded by fans and brought what everyone loved about the two commercial campaigns before the VS. campaigns together. The VS. commercials between Isaiah Mustafa and Terry Crews were born from the love fans had of the Old Spice commercials involving Isaiah Mustafa and Terry Crews.
Many viewers of “Hello Ladies” and “POWER!” Old Spice commercials loved them, as they were enjoyable to watch creating likability among the commercials. They were able to invoke pathos due to how much people enjoyed the commercials, even taking about them years after they originally aired. And for the Terry Crews commercials, they were able to invoke ethos just because of how likable Crews is as a person seen in his previous works before the Old Spice commercials. The commercials were able to become widely successful, due to how funny and enjoyable they were, making a lasting impression on viewers for years to come.
Aaker, D. A., & Stayman, D. M. (1990). Measuring audience perceptions of commercials and relating them to ad impact. Journal of Advertising Research, 30(4), 7–17.
Smith, Dave. “Marketing Tips From Old Spice.” Inc.com, Inc., 18 Aug. 2011, www.inc.com/articles/201108/5-marketing-lessons-from-old-spice.html.
Walker, David, and Tony M. Dubitsky. “Why liking matters.” Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 34, no. 3, May-June 1994, p. 9+. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 9 Mar. 2020.
Plessis, Erik du. “Understanding and using likability.” Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 34, no. 5, Sept.-Oct. 1994, p. RC3+. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 9 Mar. 2020.
“Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” Youtube, uploaded by Old Spice, 4 Feb 2010, https://youtu.be/owGykVbfgUE.
“Old Spice Power Commercial” Youtube, 7 Jan 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXfWLf9_dbo.
“Terry Crews Old Spice Commercials Full Collection” Youtube, uploaded by DesiKaliah & 7Blab, 28 April 2017, https://youtu.be/QCchfy4F33M.
Screenshot from: “Old Spice Truce” Youtube, 25 Nov 2015, https://youtu.be/qSkMYGBtFI8.
“Old Spice | Questions” Youtube, uploaded by Old Spice, 29 June 2010, https://youtu.be/uLTIowBF0kE.
“Old Spice | Behind the Scenes” Youtube, uploaded by Old Spice, 1 March 2011, https://youtu.be/32TZSXG2y7E.
“Old Spice: All Isaiah Mustafa vs Terry Crews Commercials” Youtube, uploaded by Bishop T., 27 Oct 2015, https://youtu.be/8ASb6jf-s74.